With all the back and forth on Terrelle Pryor’s decision, non-decision or ultimate decision to appeal his ridiculous 5-game suspension it is easy to forget what is truly at stake. If the latest report is finally confirmed as accurate then Pryor’s decision to appeal is long overdue and very necessary.
No matter what propaganda Roger Goodell spews this was a ruling made with the interests of the NCAA in mind. Nothing more. Nothing less.
The NFL has a system in place – free of charge – that finds, develops and deploys top notch talent. In all other professional sports worldwide these same developmental academies, teams and leagues cost money. Money that has to come from somewhere.
This is not the case for the National Football League.
The NCAA foots the cost as the NFL’s farm system. More specifically, television networks, sponsors, students paying tuition and those infamous boosters pay the tab to keep the pipeline flowing with fresh talent.
Quiet as kept, the rules in place for draft eligibility are nothing more than a safe guard meant to insure the NFL is getting the best players possible to keep their profitable league afloat. Thus Pryor’s suspension being commuted from Ohio State to Oakland is but a bone thrown from Goodell to his collegiate cronies.
Whatever rules Pryor broke in Columbus don’t hold water in the East Bay or anywhere else in this country where NFL franchises exist.
If Goodell is seriously trying to send a message to future draftees who try to exploit the system then he would have simply not allowed Pryor to enter the draft, plain and simple.
There is no logical reason for Pryor to be sitting on the sideline for the first 5 weeks of his pro career. This is a landmark moment in sports whether we realize it or not. Slowly but surely, as the NCAA’s façade crumbles with each new scandal, the cloak of football secrecy is removed.
The real danger in not appealing the suspension is the frightening thought of just how far reaching Goodell’s power goes.
Pryor has done nothing wrong as far as the NFL should be concerned. His offenses did nothing to disrespect the game. No matter how ignorant or entitled Pryor might be, he’s not an individual to be used as an example.
Goodell dragged his feet as long as he possibly could in ruling on Pryor’s eligibility on entering the supplemental draft. The league even went as far as to postpone the draft while delineating. What does that ultimately mean?
I’ll tell you what it means.
It means there were some serious backdoor discussions that could have realistically included input from outside sources. Sources that have a vested interest in protecting their under-the-table relationship with the NFL. I’m speaking, of course, of the NCAA – the most corrupt and hypocritical sports organization in the world.
There is no official relationship between the NFL and NCAA. Thus it is mandatory Pryor does whatever is necessary to draw attention to this matter. The real irony is that the appeal could be a blessing in disguise for Goodell. The last thing he needs is the unwanted headache of dealing with more of these same issues going forward every time a new issue arises when a collegiate scandal crosses over into an NFL setting.